Wonder Mama’s guide to Sydney’s LGBTQI epicentre

As Sydney gears up for the big parade, beloved drag queen and Oxford Street identity Wonder Mama has pulled together her ‘must visit’ list of places in the heart of Sydney’s gay precinct.

It’s been a tough 12 months for small businesses in Sydney’s LGBTQI district, with a lack of visitors seeing many shops and entertainment venues close their doors.

It’s an area Wonder Mama is deeply passionate about. As an Airbnb Experiences host, Wonder Mama runs tours through the city’s gay hub, showcasing the rich and glittered history of the epicentre of Sydney’s gay cultural scene.

“So many small businesses in our community have suffered a lot during the pandemic, so it’s such a pleasure for me to be able to shine a light on the venues and places that have played an iconic role in the rainbow strip.  

“Interestingly many of the people that take part in my tours are Sydneysiders who have never even been this part of the city before – and as confidence grows and more people start to venture out again, it’s really important they support the people and places that make Sydney’s gay scene one of the most renowned in the world.”

From the iconic House of Priscilla costume shop to Bookshop Darlinghurst – Sydney’s longest running LGBTQI bookstore – Wonder Mama has compiled a list of her favourite destinations in the city’s gay heartland.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the Harbour City is world-renowned for celebrating diversity, inclusivity and creativity, which really comes to the fore at this time of year.

“It’s fantastic to see Sydney open for business, welcoming visitors and shining with vibrant colour and culture at every turn. I encourage locals and visitors to show their love for Sydney by booking a short stay, enjoying our world-class bars and restaurants and visiting an attraction or cultural institution, knowing they are giving back to businesses who need the boost more than ever.”

Wonder Mama’s ‘Must-Visit’ Sydney LGBTQI destinations include:

  • Stonewall Hotel
    • Sydney’s drag show epicentre, with drag shows every night of the week featuring Sydney’s best drag performers and best DJ’s!
  • House of Priscilla
    • This iconic costume shop is a treasure trove of sequins, wigs and heels for drag queens and showgirls Australia wide if not the world! A must for your Mardi Gras outfits!
  • Oxford Hotel
    • One of Sydney’s oldest running gay pubs with great shows and 4 levels of entertainment and great dining!
  • Bookshop Darlinghurst
    • An institution for 35 years and one of Sydney’s longest running LGBTQI bookstores! Australia’s best LGBT Bookstore! Go see Graeme, Noel and the rest of the staff who are experts on all the titles!
  • Universal Bar
    • Featuring a stellar line-up of cabaret performances, drag dining experiences and much more!
  • Claire’s Kitchen at Le Salon
    • One of Sydney’s most authentic French Restaurants features wonderful food, amazing wait staff and superb cabaret shows throughout the week!

Ahead of the parade at the SCG, Airbnb has pulled together a list of Wonder Mama-approved Airbnb listings conveniently located near the heart of the action:

The Orwell Studio in the heart of Potts Point

Little Albion Guest house Crash pad – Surry Hills

Funky City Studio – Darlinghurst

Artistic, light-filled Pad – Darlinghurst

Paddo Pied a Tierre – Paddington

 Entire Townhouse – Surry Hills

Heritage Listed Terrace – Woolloomooloo

Luxe one bedroom apartment – Paddington

To visit Sydney’s LGBTQI hub with Wonder Mama, head to Airbnb.